DETECTIVE COMICS #16
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (@BATMANONFILM)
January 13, 2013

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SYNOPSIS: A “Death of the Family” tie-in issue! As The Joker continues to wreak havoc on The Dark Knight and his allies, Batman is forced to cut a deal with The Penguin…one that will come back to haunt both of them when a new villain interferes! And in the backup story, Ignatius Ogivly usurps The Penguin’s throne and decides to lead the underworld crimelords in The Penguin’s place!

OK, ENOUGH with the “Death of the Family” tie-ins! However…

DETECTIVE COMICS #16’s tie-in is different and quite OK.

The difference between the tie-ins in this title when compared to the rest of the Batman Family of comics is that DETECTIVE deals with the fallout of The Joker’s return to Gotham City, while all the other titles feature The Clown Prince of Crime himself. Outside of what writer John Layman is doing in DETECTIVE seems contrived and quite forced.

In issue #16, Layman presents us with The Joker’s affect on Gotham’s outsiders and ne'er-do-wells. Remember “The Jokerz” from BATMAN BEYOND? Without ruining the story for you, I’ll simply say that the result is quite similar. Gangs going by the names of Punchline, Funny Bonez, Best Medicine and – the worst of the lot – The League of Smiles – have descended on Gotham all in the name of honoring The Joker. As a result, The Batman is forced to crisscross his city thwarting the multitude of nefarious deeds being committed by these gangs.

As I’ve said before, DETECTIVE COMICS has improved greatly since the new creative team – writer John Layman with art by Jason Fabok – came on board. My only issue – and it’s probably a petty one – is that Layman’s Batman is a little too talkative for my liking, even though most of it is simply The Bat’s internal monologue. In addition, Layman’s Batman is prone to a bit of cheesy dialogue at times – such as “Disperse! Disperse you ruffian’s!”

OK, Batman doesn’t actually use the term “ruffian’s,” but this…

…is just as bad. Don’t you think? Anyway…

All in all, DETECTIVE #16 was an enjoyable read. The main story was able to link itself to the big crossover – “Death of the Family” – while still be its own thing. Also, this month’s backup story – “Pecking Order” – gives us more of Ignatius Ogilvy, AKA “Emperor Penguin.” I'm thinking a showdown between this guy and The Batman -- and probably Ozzy Cobblepott is on the horizon.


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GRADE: B+

A life-long Batman fan, "Jett"
is the founder of
BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He resides in the great state of Texas with his wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.

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